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The Sainsbury's UK School Games is a multi-sport event for the UK's elite young athletes of school age. This year the games were held in Sheffield, the city of Sport. Westfield were heavily involved in the games across a variety of mediums.
After a lengthy application process, 8 Sports Leaders (Jack Wade, Matt Dickinson, Oliver Tupling, Tom Duffield, Kay-Leigh Boot, Megan Wallace, Iona Tatham and Reema Mistry) were selected to volunteer at the games. This was a fantastic experience with the volunteers being thrown into the thick of the sporting action. After a day of training at the Royal Victoria Hotel, the 8 Leaders then spent the next 4 days volunteering at the Volleyball, Fencing and Athletics. The days including some ridiculously early get ups and some longs shifts but it was certainly worth it. It really was a unique opportunity to up close and personal to the action of such high level sport. All volunteers were recognise for incredible hard work at a civic reception on the Saturday evening. It was at this reception where Baroness Sue Campbell of the Youth Sport Trust commented on how professional and simply brilliant our students are.
The games are designed to mirror the Olympic and Paralympic Games right down to the fact that the athletes stay in an athletes village and are treated like their senior counterparts. Another similarity between the Olympics and the School Games is the fact they start with an Opening Ceremony and finish with a Closing Ceremony. We are so proud that Westfield had a performer in the shape of Eden Cowan who performed at the ceremonies as well as at the civic reception held on the Saturday evening. Eden had to audition from 100s of candidates to be part of the event. It truly is a remarkable achievement that she was selected to perform. Eden performed in front on thousands at the arena and said it was an experience she will always cherish.
Talent Inspiration Program
We have a group of talented performers at Westfield that were very close to being selected to be part of the UK school games as athletes but unfortunately their age meant that 2013 had come slightly too early. Instead they were invited to be part of a Talent Inspiration Camp. Some students (Emily Simpson, Jayden Saberton and Alfie Manthorpe) stayed over the weekend as part of a residential experience whilst others (Bronte Jones, Brodie Jones, Joe Fisher, Mollie Crump, Rhys Brown) were involved for the Sunday only to gain a feel of what it is like to be an elite athlete. They learnt about the training requirements, the necessary diet and the commitment it takes to reach the top. They heard from a variety of people including ex Olympic Athletes. Who knows, we may see some of these students in the School Games of the future.
Westfield are very proud of our Media Team. They run our PE Media blog entirely independently and some of the write ups on school sport are fantastic. We were thrilled when three of our media team were invited to report live on the School Games. They were given access all areas passes to meet and interview athletes fresh after competing and were the first to speak to the athletes whilst emotions were running high. A great experience for our budding journalists. A first hand taste of top class sport and real reporting.